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Heathrow Airport: third runway on arrival

Project opposed for high costs and pollution

The project for the construction of a third 3500-meter runway at London-Heathrow airport has been approved by Theresa May and it will be voted by Parliament.

The setting up of the new asphalt strip that could be completed by 2026 has been discussed for years. The plan was approved by the Labor government already in 2009 but it was blocked the following year by the liberal-democratic executive. As an alternative to the creation of the runway, the expansion of the Gatwick airport has been proposed but Theresa May's Tory government had strongly re-launched the Heathrow project, despite the firm opposition of a part of the Tories and the Foreign Minister and former mayor of London Boris Johnson. The elected deputy in the colleges of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, areas affected by the construction of the new runway, had in fact threatened to shield his body by opposing the bulldozers at the time of the start of construction.

The idea of setting up a third runway is alarming due to the considerable costs and the implications in terms of noise and environmental pollution. The project involves a total investment of about 17 billion pounds. 2.6 billion puonds will be spent on compensation for the residents of the 800 houses that will be demolished and of the 4 thousand houses exposed to noise for which specific measures to reduce sound pollution will be implemented. The inauguration of the new project would in fact lead to a massive increase in air traffic (about 700 more aircraft a day in the area) which would lead to an increase in noise pollution and a worsening of air quality. Against 77 thousand possible new jobs for an estimated economic surplus of between 65 and 130 billion pounds, those who oppose the expansion of the airport remember the high costs and the18 billion pounds that will be added to the initial investment to complete the modernisation and the renovation of roads and infrastructures for the reception of passengers. Meanwhile, the Transport Minister Chris Grayling reassures citizens and promises that the runway's construction will be completed only in full compliance with the directives for air quality assurance.



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